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Spouse Aggro!

I blog at www.spouseaggro.com, write for www.ablegamers.com, run www.mmovoices.ning.com and post all over the net. HOWDY!

Author: beauturkey

My top 10 MMO terms!

Posted by beauturkey Friday May 22 2009 at 3:47PM
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1) Clocking in: "Clocking In" refers to players that play their favorite game as though it is a second job. For many, it is exactly like a second job, without the benefit of actually getting paid. In fact, most clocker-inners go to work and survive the day half-heartily, barely scraping by without getting fired. It's only until they come home and log in that they feel fulfilled. Many of these gamers even hate playing like they hate working a real job. (Real life example: A friend of mine raids with a raiding guild that he says is "racist and sexist". They use hate speech, curse up a storm, the whole nine yards. Yet he still raids with them, for whatever reason.) If you come home and "grind" for 7 hours just so you can possibly do better in a raid, and during the grinding you wish you were not having to "grind" (as though you are being forced) then you are one that "clocks in."

2) Home Game: This is a game that you will always love, even if it breaks your heart. Many, many gamers still moan about "pre-NGE SWG" or "Pre-BC WoW" as though those memories were ruined by time (and their excitement) passing. A home game is one you will always follow, and will probably re-sub to whenever you get a chance. My home games areRyzom and Vanguard. When I log into those, I feel very much "at home."

3) Immersion/Immersive?Immersion Project: I have used these words to the point of being sick of using them , but now I have a much deeper appreciation for them. Many think that an "immersive" game sucks you into the world, and makes you feel as though you are walking around in that world. I knew that until we get true "virtual reality" like a holo-deck, it would be near impossible to feel completely immersed. So I tried to feel connected to my character by doing things like referring to a cloth hand-held map instead of the in-game one, forcing my character to pay attention to weather, and using only realistic forms of travel and speech. That way, my feeling of realism comes from the question "How would I feel in that situation?" instead of "How does my character feel inside that forest?" That way, the feeling of Immersion comes from my characters adventures, and not the design of the landscape. My character could be inside a white box and feel real to me, even though the surroundings were bland. This allows me to feel Immersed in games that have more "cartoony" graphics or wackier game-play.

4) Hard-Core: This term has been thrown around waaayyyy too much these days. For most, it means some kind of special game-play that simply separates the men/women from the boys/girls. I never bought that because there isn't a single MMO out there that could provide any true "challenge," when compared to some of lifes' simplest activities.  It has been proven time and time again that most gamers are content with just pursuing the conquering of those "challenges" so that within (sometimes) days all content has been "beaten." No game will ever be able to stand up to the addicted (see below.) So, for me, the term "hard-core" means "anyone that goes above and beyond the average." (Thanks to whats-his-name on the VG forums for that.) In other words it is not the area of the game that dictates "Hard-Core," but it is how much, how strongly, or how deeply the gamer plays in that area. I have known "hard-core" role-players,crafters, and explorers.

5) Addict: Easy to guess this one, as long as you provide the question. If you take a typically obsessed gamer, one that plays 20-40 hours a WEEK (!!!!) and replace "gaming" with "watching porn," "going to church" or "gambling," you would change your mind about how healthy it is to spend your time doing one activity over and over. Yet, millions of gamers do it every week while making fun of those that (they think) have "real addictions." If I spent 4hours a night, 5 days a week in a strip club, most of family and friends would say that I had a REAL problem, and they would be right. Now take awaystrip club and replace it with "staying motionless in a chair while eating junk-food" and you get an idea how addicted most gamers can be.

6) Stocks and Robbers: This came from a description of EVE online, bascally meaning that people see the game as stocks and robbers. This is also referring to a game in which players celebrate a "stock market," and a system that allows for "criminal behavior." In other words, a game with systems in place that, instead of taking you out of real life, allow you to play with some of the shadier elements of real life. The stock part is a blast, sometimes, and can bring on a "little man game" feeling. (see below.)

 7) Little Man Game: No, this is not an attempt to insult a player by saying that he/she has a "Napoleon Complex." This is used to describe a game that a makes you do a few things:

 A) Sit back in your char, pulling at whiskers on your chin while staring at an army, (or at your character) while thinking about his place in a grand universe (a feeling of epic scale.)

 B) Move your avatar on a large map, using small icons.

 C) Think like a space General, playing very seriously the role of a mighty captain.

 The most ironic thing about games like this (EVE, POX Nora, Atlantica Online) is that while "serious" players are very far removed from role-players, the sheer amount of energy they put into thoughts of epic battle is essentially role-playing. Only in a game like this will you actually hear a real life person say on the mic: "GO! GO! GO!" with out a fake accent. Role-Playing in it's purest form.

 EDIT: I forgot to add that this came from my wife and her berating of me for playing those "little man games." You know, WAR 40k table top, games that make you think you are a general!

 8) Basic-Math-and-a-Collection-of-Easily-Obtained-Information Crafting: Theory-Crafting came from the ole' (as though anything 5-10 years ago is OLD) days of StarCraft, as players tried to come up with formulas and theories on how certain StarCraft scenarios and army make-ups would respond on the battlefield. Think "computer simulation" on paper, done with a calculator. Nowadays, theory-crafters practice this in an attempt to get a similar feeling to the "little man" feeling...using basic stuff like imagination and basic math to make something simple (combat in an MMO) into something complex (spread-sheets.) Also, many "theory-crafters" are "clocker-inners," putting more effort into printing out table after table, calculating hit chances and using basic math to "theorize" about different abilities used in different ways, showing how someone can put much more effort into the pursuit of a hobby they don't get paid for than a job that actually pays their bills. We humans are usually more passionate about our fun than our jobs.

 Theory-crafting is essentially the collecting of information, in the form of cheat-sheets, that let a player know what build is "optimal" and what strategy is "preferred." In other words, theory-crafting sucks all the fun and mystery out of gaming. Well, for me at least.

 9) Adult Gaming: This is one of my favorite terms, in the way that neither word belong together except in one case. The only time this term (that is used by "mature" gamers a lot, to describe games that are meant for a more mature mindset) SHOULD be used is when describing a game that children should not see, as in an R rating for a movie. It should not be used to describe a "mature" activity, because all gaming comes from the same place that PLAY does. Only children play.

 In an example, when we domesticated dogs thousands and thousands of years ago, we essentially created an animal that was stuck going through life as a young wolf would. We created juvenile wolves. Adult wolves can play, but not in the frequency that pups do, and adult wolves are certainly notdependant on adults (us) like pups are. The constant barking and playing and dependency of domesticated dogs are all the traits of young wolves.

 Same goes for playing in humans. Play is a youthful thing. When someone says that a playful adult is acting like "a child," I beg to differ. I think that we act as children our entire lives, but learn restraint and calm that children do not have. To act like an adult is NOT to act UN-like a child, but to act like a child that has learned their manners.

 Playing comes from that childish part in us, and playing MMO's (does not matter if the MMO is "serious" or an "adult MMO") is a childish activity. That's what makes it fun. If you are playingMMO's and not having fun, you are probably taking it way too seriously and need to take a break. After all, stress (just like at your job, on top of the fact that you are sitting there for several hours without exercise,) and  can add up to health issues. I walk twice a day, and as soon as I feel a little stress coming from avideo-game, I rub my eyes and step away for a while.

 10) Gift Basket Game: This refers to a game that feels compact, tight, small...a fun game that can run on anything, downloads in a minute..something you look forward to playing when you are stuck in an airport or bored on a Sunday afternoon. These games comes in many, many different shapes and sizes, but almost all of them should be admired fortheir art design, ability to run on any hardware configuration, and stress-free gaming that can actually becomes quite addicting. These are not to be called "childrens games," because ALL games are childrens games (barring adult content) but these games should be lifted up as doing what they do SO well. Examples of some of these games: DOFUS, Dream of Mirror Online, Free Realms, Pox Nora and Puzzle Pirates. You can jump in and it just works...there is surprising depth to these games, but like a gift basket they can be enjoyed on purely JOY levels. Also, these games cancreate a nice "nostalgia" feeling when you are away from your current game and just want to interact with other players, go on an adventure and are pressed for time.

 

 These are just some of the terms me and the wife have used over the years, during conversation and in blogging. Have any of your own? Let me know.. I want to steal them.

 

 Beau Turkey

 

 

Inktomi writes:

 Hey beau,

 I really like the breakdown of the terms for feelings that I haven't been able to describe for years, clocking in my favorite and have been using it regularly (with citation). You would be surprised on how many people are just clocking in to games in general, som feel as though they should be playing a game no matter what else is going on. 

Stocks and robbers, very good real-life connotation for high-crime in a virtual world. I lived that lifestyle for many years and can tell you that there is a serious burnout rate due to the amount of work put into living it. This could be partly due to the reason why people are getting "burned out" and meander around looking for their "new game" .

My home games are FFXI pre-AHT and yes, wow pre-BC. Good times had by all.

All in all great work, they epitomize the current state of gaming in one form or other. 

Fri May 22 2009 4:49PM Report
beauturkey writes:

Thanks!

 If you think of any others, let me know. That way I can steal them and seem smart! :)

 

 Beau

Fri May 22 2009 5:18PM Report
Inktomi writes:

 Haha,

 you don't have to steal them, I give everything freely. And you don't have to "seem" smart because you are. Anyway, I use the 3S as reference to most open world avatar based online games, Single Sprite Sandbox.

I know we are probably using the context of the term sandbox incorrect, but I feel it gets the point across. 

True story, I used the reference of "clocking in" to a friends gaming habits and he is taking a vacation next week. Says he needs some time off, when someone realizes that they are not doing something for fun you have to see the look of shock on someones face. It's kinda sad in a way but I feel that sometimes players cross the realm of healthy play to unhealthy game habits, then they are doing just that.

I used to call it "getting cracked out on ____" but I feel clocking in is so much more of a digestible term.

Thanks Beau,

~Ink

Tue May 26 2009 7:20AM Report

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